critical literary analysis

This assignment asks you to write a 6-8-page literary analysis on Morrison’s Sula. The goal of the assignment is to argue a specific thesis about the text, using your analysis of specific elements in the text and how those elements relate to each other to support your thesis. You must support your argument with evidence from the text.

Possible Essay Topics:
• The setting of small town Ohio and its significance to the novel
• The role of men in the novel
• The impact of World War I on the town’s residents
• Shadrack’s role in the community / his creation of National Suicide Day
• The meanings of certain symbols and their relationship in the novel, for example, place names, character names, repeated images, etc.
• Friendship between women and girls
• Grief
• Racism
• Evil
• Family dynamics/relationships
• If you are interested in a topic not on this list, make sure that you consult with me before you start on your paper.

Research: You will need to use at least three secondary sources and the novel will serve as your primary source. Your paper should be formatted in MLA documentation style, including in-text citations and a works cited page. Please see the Purdue Owl for help if you need it.

Acceptable forms of research:
• Journal articles
• Books
• Online scholarly journals
• Internet
• Magazines
• Ideally, you will use some of the readings from our class in your paper.

Although these forms of research are acceptable for your paper, there are some guidelines and limitations to using them for this paper assignment:

1. You may use only ONE credible internet resource for this paper.
2. The bulk of your research should come from books or journal articles.
3. Remember, this is a research paper written for an academic audience and secular magazines, the internet, and newspapers must be used sparingly.
Guidelines: The essay should be word-processed or typed and should follow the standard format:
• It should be 6-8 pages in length. Essays less than SIX FULL PAGES will receive a failing grade.
• The text of your essay should be written in 12-point font and should be double-spaced. Do not include a cover sheet. Margins should be 1” on all sides.
• You must use research to back up your essay claims. Follow the guidelines listed above.
• MLA style documentation (you must include a works cited page!)

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English 101: Planning

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